2019 NBA Bee Fun Day

Sunday, June 9, 2019 – 8am-4pm

UNL Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (formally ARDC)

1071 County Road G, Ithaca, Nebraska

Registration includes lunch, snacks, beverages, a day full of learning and fun!

Please arrive at 7:30 for registration.  Presentations start promptly at 8am.

Learning opportunities for all levels!

Classroom presentations

Honey bee foraging in urban & agricultural areas. Creating great bee forage throughout the seasons

Learn something new:

Bee friendly lawns, Mead making, Soaps, lotions & potions

Hands-on activities

Live demonstrations, encaustic art (make & take!)

Silent auction items & vendor booths will available for purchasing bee related items.

Made with Love Cakery – made from scratch baked goods, all made with local honey!

Register Now!



Reed M. Johnson, PhD (OSU)

Keynote presentation:Benefits and Risks to Honey Bees Foraging in Urban and Agricultural Areas

2ndtalk:Pesticides and Poisons in the Hive: An Overview of Honey Bee Toxicology

Bio:Reed got his start in research beekeeping while looking for a summer job in his hometown, Missoula, Montana.  He knocked on the door of Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk at the University of Montana, was offered employment, and was quickly drawn into the world of bees and their biology.  Reed went on to receive a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working with Dr. May Berenbaum where he was involved in the honey bee genome project.  Reed then moved on to and a post-doc position at the University of Nebraska with Dr. Marion Ellis where he explored drug interactions between miticides in bees.   Reed is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University – Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio.  He teaches two courses at Ohio State: one on the biology and practical aspects of beekeeping and other on pesticide toxicology and application.  His research focuses on determining how bees are exposed to pesticides and combinations and measuring the effect that toxic exposure has on the health of honey bees and other pollinators with the goal of promoting bee health in the context of modern agriculture.  

Meet our speakers!

Jennifer Albrecht (UNL student) Monitoring and Effects of Pesticide Residue Accumulation in Hives on Bee Health and Varroa Mite Susceptibility

Bio:Jennifer Albrecht is a graduate student under the advisement of Dr. Judy Wu-Smart. Her research focuses on the implementation of pesticide monitoring management practices, and the impacts of pesticide residues within the hive on bee health. Her hope is to empower beekeepers to proactively manage pesticides in their hive and participate in a nationwide citizen science program that collects regional weekly mortality

Peter Berthelsen:The Art & Science of Getting Great Honey Bee Forage on the Landscape

Bio:Pete Berthelsen is currently serving as the Partnership Director for The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund and providing consulting services for wildlife and pollinator habitat needs through Conservation Blueprint, LLC. Previously, employed with Pheasants Forever, Inc. from 1991 to 2017 as the Director of Habitat Partnerships (2013 to 2017), Senior Field Coordinator (2006 to 2013), Director of Conservation Programs (2000 to 2005), and Regional Wildlife Biologist (1991 to 1999). Prior to employment with Pheasants Forever, work experience includes employment with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in North Dakota, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the U.S. Forest Service in Michigan.

Natalia Bjorklund (UNL student): Landscape ornamental plants and maintenance for honey bees and Nebraska Wild Bee Research in Urban Settings

Bio:Natalia is originally from Greeley, Nebraska.  She completed her B.S. in horticulture from U of Nebraska, Lincoln, and her M.S. in horticulture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She worked at various botanical gardens across the country before joining Nebraska Extension in 2011.  She recently left Extension to finish her Ph.D. in Entomology.  

Bridget Gross (UNL student)Women in Beekeeping: An Examination of the Impacts of a Collaborative Learning Program

Bio:Bridget Gross is originally from Vermilion, Ohio. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from The College of Wooster. Additionally, she researched drone brood removal and the use of drones as edible insects with the Ohio State University Bee Lab. She is know a Master’s Student at UNL, working on beekeeper education programs and how to build better connections between beekeepers and landowners. 

Kat & Dustin Scholl: Lessons learned from a value-added business

Bio:Dustin and Kat Scholl own and operate K&Ds Honey Bees in Seward, Neb. Their hobby beekeeping business was started in 2009 and primarily focuses on products of the hive and education outreach. They currently have over 15 hives within three apiary locations. In 2015, their education and outreach efforts were recognized with the Nebraska Wildlife Federation Communicator Award. Dustin is the apiary manager for the UNL Bee lab and a NBA officer. Kat works for the city of Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department to promote events and programs.

Matthew Smart (UNL Professor):Utilization of honey bee colony monitoring devices to examine the effects of land use, forage availability, and weather on colony productivity.

Bio: Matthew Smart is a research assistant professor in the Entomology Department at UNL. His research is focused on the impacts of land use, habitat, nutritional resources and other biotic and abiotic stressors on pollinator health and productivity.  Specific areas of interest include understanding the spatiotemporal utilization of forage resources by pollinators in the context of varying habitat conditions and resulting impacts on health and ecosystem service delivery of pollinators.

Carrie Smith (Artist): CDW Smith is a retired school teacher and local artist who loves to make monoprints and encaustic works (with beeswax and tree resin).  She has studied encaustic with local legend Margaret Berry and other encaustic artists in Santa Fe and elsewhere.  

Photo: “Storm over the pass” monoprint with encaustic on panel

Steve and Becky Tipton: Value-added products (lotions, & potions)and Rendering Beeswax

Steve and Becky have been keeping bees in NE Kansas for 30 years.  Both retired from their original jobs to work the farm and the bee business.  Steve and Becky earned their Midwest Master Beekeeper certification through Dr. Marion Ellis at UNL and were honored to help him teach the program for many years.  Steve and Becky also teach a beginning beekeeping class in Topeka and offer individual beekeeping instruction (mentoring).  Both have held multiple offices and been very active in the NE KS Beekeepers Association and the Kansas Honey Producers.  Classified as “serious sideliners” by the beekeeping industry, Steve says they have a hobby out of control. They sell their honey and a number of skin care products with beeswax and honey at the Downtown Topeka Farmers’ Market. 

Surabhi Vakil (UNL student)Landscape enhancements in agricultural areas to increase pollinator abundance and diversity and reduce pesticide exposure

Bio:Surabhi Vakil is a PhD student at University of Nebraska Lincoln, Department of Entomology. I completed my bachelors in Agricultural Sciences and Masters in Entomology from Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University India. Before coming here, I was working as Research Assistant in All India Coordinated Project On Honey bees and pollinators. Currently I am working on examining ways that may enhance the agricultural landscape to increase forage availability and reduce neonicotinoid insecticide exposure to improve the health of bees. These enhancements are sustainable and practical solutions for growers which will make adoption of pollinator conservation practices easier. In addition to this research I will assist in several grower-beekeeper workshops to foster communication and collaboration for mutual economic development

James Wolfin (UMN student):Building better lawns: Designing eco-friendly lawns for your honey bees and native bees.

Bio: James Wolfin is a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota, where he is working towards a Master’s degree in entomology.  Studying under the advisement of Drs. Marla Spivak (Entomology) and Eric Watkins (Horticulture), James is exploring how we can incorporate low-growing flowers into environmentally friendly turf lawns to provide forage for native bees and honey bees.  James’ interest in bees began at the University of Delaware, where he identified pollen species collected by honey bees, in order to inform beekeepers what floral species their honey bees were foraging on throughout the year.

Judy Wu-Smart (UNL Professor & NBA officer): Hive Health in Nebraska (APHIS updates) 

Bio:Judy is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). In her role at UNL, Judy is developing a pollinator health program to help understand the underlying stressors in bee health and their interactions with environmental toxicants. Her research program explores different ways to promote sustainability and resilience in pollinator ecosystems. She also dedicates a lot of time with outreach and extension programs to increase knowledge about the importance of conservation and biodiversity to promote practices that support healthy bee communities in agroecosystems.  Her goal is to integrate her research, extension, and outreach efforts with policy to inform the regulatory-decision making process by identifying risk mitigation opportunities and best management practices that will better protect beneficial pollinators in agricultural and urban landscapes.


2019 Annual Meeting Announcement!

Annual Meeting & Election of officers

When:  January 20th   1p-5p

Where: Seward Civic Center – 616 Bradford St, Seward, NE 68434 


  • Light snacks will be provided. 
  • 1p-2p social hour. 
  • Election of 2019 Officers
  • 2018 Scholarship Presentations. 
  • Beekeeper of the Year. 
  • Update from the UNL Bee Lab & the new Great Plains Master Beekeeping program.


Nebraska State Fair: Volunteers Needed!

Now calling all worker bees!

The Nebraska State Fair will be here before we know it. This year the fair is  from Friday, August 24 – Monday, September 3, 2018. During this time the NBA has a booth that sells education materials related to beekeeping, clothing, wax products, and most notably… HONEY ICE CREAM and live observation hives!!!

This booth is the primary fundraiser for our youth scholarship program and we need your help!

Click here to volunteer!

Tasks of a volunteer:
  • Chatting with other volunteers and visitors
  • Handling payment when visitors purchase items
  • Sharing your knowledge of beekeeping including how many times you’ve been stung!
Benefits of volunteering:
  • Meet and chat with other Nebraska beekeepers
  • Free access to the fair the day you are scheduled to work
  • A FREE serving of honey ice cream

Each day of the fair there are four timeslots available. We ask that all volunteers show up at least 10-15 minutes before your shift starts. This allows the previous workers time to share any updates with you!

  • Day Manager: 8am-9pm
  • Morning: 9am-3pm
  • Afternoon: 12pm-6pm
  • Evening: 3pm-9pm

Sign up now to guarantee a spot that works in your schedule at NebraskaBeekeepers.org/volunteer. Before the event you will receive communication from the NBA including how to pick up your fair tickets and tips for the shift.

If you have any questions, please send an email to nbaboard@nebraskabeekeepers.org.

More information about the Nebraska State Fair including the Bee Culture Open Class rules and schedule of events (and concerts) can be found at statefair.org.


2018 Bee Fun Day

Sunday, June 24, 2018

8:00 am-4:00 pm

UNL Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (formally ARDC)

1071 County Road G, Ithaca, Nebraska

Learning opportunities for all levels!

Classroom presentations: Queen breeding and genetics – management practices

Learn something new: Honey bee nutrition and stressors including pesticides

Hands-on activities:  Live demonstrations, encaustic art (+ make & take!) 

Register now online or download the form below and submit payment***:


Download the PDF version of the schedule: 2018 NBA fun day Agenda (updated 6/21/18)

Presentations by:

Steve Sheppard, Washington State University

Dr. Sheppard is the Entomology Department Chair at Washington State University and he leads the Apis Molecular Systematics Laboratory and the WSU honey bee breeding program to develop honey bee stocks that exhibit a measure of resistance or tolerance to common honey bee pathogens and parasites. His team has also been enhancing US honey bee diversity through importation of honey bee semen from Old World sources, evaluation of progeny and release of germplasm to the queen production industry.


Becky Masterman, University of Minnesota

Becky Masterman has led the UMN Bee Squad program since 2013.  The Bee Squad communicates the latest bee research to audiences that are passionate about helping bees and finds innovative ways to not just help bees, but also help people. Now Bee Veterans, Bee Arts and projects that train others who might not have had access to beekeeping are part of the Bee Squad. Additionally, the Bee Squad has launched a national beekeeper citizen science project in an effort to fight the deadly mite pest, Varroa destructor. Learn more about bee research and the outreach mission of the Bee Squad at www.beesquad.umn.edu.

Other notable presentations and activities:

Melanie Kirby, Washington State University

Dr. Matthew Smart, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Scott O’Neil, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Craig Romary, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Jennifer Williams, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Judy Wu-Smart, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, UNL Bee Lab

Silent Auction, Bid on items and help support the NBA scholarship

Live Demonstrations, Vendor Booths & Door Prizes!

Schedule of Events:

Please plan your travel accordingly. Presentations will start promptly at 9:00am.

7:30-8:00 am: Registration

8-12 pm: Presentations

12 pm: Lunch

1- 2:30 pm: Presentations

3:30 pm: Closing remarks

Registration Fees:

Early Bird (Postmarked by 6/11/18): NBA Member: $35, non-member*: $50

Regular (Paid after 6/12-22/18): NBA Member: $45, non-member*: $60

Day of Event (Paid after 6/12-22/18): NBA Member: $50, non-member*: $65

~ Add’l family member: $12/person

~ Kids 12yrs and under: $0

We appreciate registration before the day of the event. This allows us to prepare not only the meals, but other fun things for all of our guests!

* Each non-member registration includes a one year family membership to the NBA.

** 2018 Scholarship Families: Free registration for scholarship youth, 1 guardian, & mentor.

***$3 add’l fee to process paper mailings.  Help us and your checkbook by registering online!


From Lincoln, Interstate-80 Exit 405: 

  • North on US-77 N: 17.6 miles
  • Turn east (right) on NE-66E: 7.0 miles
  • UNL-ARDC will be on the south (right) side of the road.
  • Please park in the west parking lot. 

Time considerations: approx. 40 minutes from I-80, exit 405.

Using GPS?: Use “1071 Co Rd G, Mead, NE”


2018 Hive Body Assembly Day

If you are a new or old beekeeper with equipment to build, bring it with you (don’t forget the nails). The 2018 scholarship students will be building their equipment at this event as well.

Nothing to build? No worries! Join us for the pot luck. Please remember to bring a pot luck item and a chair. After the building portion we will gather for a relaxed meal and catch up with one another.

If you have any of the following, we would appreciate you bringing it:

  • hammer or pneumatic air gun
  • quick grip
  • clamps
  • square
  • wood glue
  • frame jig

Our amazing Vice President, Brian Nilson, has graciously offered one of his buildings for this to take place in Marquette. Marquette is about 10 miles north of Aurora, Nebraska. Thanks, Brian!

See Event details.